The missing hockey tape

Photo by Maurice DT on Unsplash

At the risk of sparking controversy on this website, I feel the need to let you know that I’m not a huge fan of ice hockey. If I had to name a reason, I think it has to do with all the banging of Plexiglas. There seems to be a lot of that packed into 60 minutes of game play. And for what? The thrill of watching your team smack a puck into the other team’s goal maybe two or three times if you’re lucky? (Cautionary note: The above is merely this girl’s opinion. If you have other thoughts on this hot-button issue, the comment box is now open!)


So, again, not a fan. Nevertheless, I have to admit that my fervor for hockey has increased substantially lately.

It has to do with a video that I discovered on my recent trip to Oxford, Ohio, when I was in search of Oral History Project recordings that weren’t posted on the university’s bicentennial website. 

Actually, let me rephrase that. I haven’t discovered the video just yet. What I discovered was a paper trail that points to the existence of a video recording, and the recording that the paper trail points to was ostensibly conducted on May 19, 2009, with a group of former Miami hockey coaches.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Why do you care about finding the hockey coach recording when you just got through telling us that you’re not a fan of the sport? What’s more, hockey coaches probably don’t have anything substantive to offer regarding the Tammen mystery.”

Here’s what I’m thinking: I’m thinking Carl Knox’s former secretary might be on that recording. I’m also thinking that the recording may still exist.

Here’s you again: “I had no idea that Carl Knox’s former secretary coached ice hockey.”

Haha, you’re such a kidder. No, Carl Knox’s former secretary didn’t coach ice hockey, and I don’t think she sat down with several Miami hockey coaches for an interview. What I’ve been wondering lately is whether Carl Knox’s former secretary’s interview was, um, for whatever reason, accidentally mislabeled “Miami Hockey Coaches” and that it somehow managed to become separated from all of the other Oral History Project recordings.

I’m not going to go into more detail tonight since I could be very wrong about this theory, and if I’m wrong, then I’ll need to walk everything back. I’m just asking the question at this point.

I can say this: on May 19, 2009, a recording of Miami hockey coaches supposedly existed, as evidenced by a progress log and an archive list.

The Miami Hockey Coaches recording is listed second from the bottom of this progress log
The Miami Hockey Coaches recording is listed at the bottom of this archive list

It supposedly existed on May 29, 2009, when it was counted among the 11 “Completed sessions not yet on Website.”

The hockey coaches interview is counted among the 11 completed sessions not yet on Website as opposed to the recordings that weren’t posted to the Website “for miscellaneous reasons,” even though it ostensibly never was posted online.

It supposedly existed in July 2009, when it was mentioned in a narrative report.

But by September 2009, the hockey coach recording was left off of the 2006-2009 master list of recordings. It’s not mentioned on the Special Collections webpage of Oral History Project recordings and, it bears repeating, it’s not posted on the bicentennial website. I’m currently awaiting word as to its whereabouts. 

I’ll keep you posted.

12 thoughts on “The missing hockey tape

  1. I played hockey, and never cared for the spitting, haha (I always thought it was an affectation). I mean, you fall down onto the ice often, and who wants… well, you know. Great sport, though, plexiglass-slamming and all! Roughness notwithstanding, it is a game of great skill and finesse (Miami U. has historically had an excellent team, btw).

    Not sure if this was ever mentioned elsewhere here, but did you all know that the Campus Owls 78rpm records featuring Ron, recorded the day Ron disappeared (as Jen has written about) can be heard on youtube on a channel called “The Historical Record”? Look it up. Around 4:25, through to the end of the clip they posted, you can more easily hear what has to be Ron playing the bass.

    Finally, I like the “net” typo. Figured it could well have been deliberate. Very appropriate for a hockey post. 😉

    1. Thank you for weighing in, Mike! I had a feeling we’d be hearing from a hockey player at some point. 😁 And your point about Miami having a great hockey team is important—if they interviewed several hockey coaches, I’m sure lots of people would like to watch that tape. If it turns up, you will all be the first to know.

      Re the Campus Owls recording, I included a link a while back on Facebook, which feeds onto this page. If anyone hasn’t had the chance to listen to it yet, I encourage you to do so. To make it easy on you, I’ll grab the link and will post it in the comments shortly.

      Lastly, re the net typo, haha, I wish I’d been that clever.

  2. Oh, the hockey players spitting! I remember the first time I saw a player spitting on the ice. I couldn’t believe it. Still can’t. Truly disgusting.

  3. I have issues with the plexiglass too. Why exactly do the fans ALWAYS and CONSTANTLY bang on it when the puck is right in front of them? Do they suppose the players will stop playing and turn to the crowd and say, “Who’s knocking on the glass? Do you want something?” It’s annoyingly stupid.

    I also don’t like the totally unnecessary roughness of hockey. Among many points, I am especially annoyed how often a player with his back to the ice clears the puck to a teammate around the boards, and an opponent subsequently slams him into the plexiglass from behind. And the crowd ROARS! Wow, what athletic skill. Someone standing still, with their back to you, and you……..drum roll……..HIT THEM! I don’t get it.

    I noticed a typo:

    //The hockey coaches interview is counted among the 11 completed sessions net yet on Website //

    Obviously, “net” should be “not”.

    To make up for my OCD, I make an offer to get to Oxford to look at the tapes if you want.

    1. All fixed. Thanks again, and thanks for reading the captions.

      Thanks, also, for your offer to watch videos. Not sure right now, but I’ll definitely let you know if I can use your help.

  4. Definitely weird, especially since I assume there’s at least a few people who’d be interested in listening to those. To me the most likely explanation is someone screwed something up, maybe deleted or recorded over the interviews or corrupted the recordings, and hoped no one would notice if they just left it off the master list, perhaps not wanting to get in trouble. If this is what happened, they likely would have been right if you weren’t researching Tammen, since the archivists didn’t know about and/or bother mentioning the May 2009 list.

    At the same time it’s still a little weird to me that no one seems to know anything about the oral history project. It concluded less than 15 years ago, not 100, and it’s the 21st century so ideally ALL the recordings should theoretically have been digitized ASAP, assuming they were still using old-school recording devices. And that wasn’t hard to do even in the 2000s, in 2003 I was doing it for my music professor with old records. In another life, I would have loved to be a librarian/archivist/historian for an orchestra or opera company, and I like to think in a similar situation I’d be like a bloodhound trying to find out where material is and get it to the requisitoner, and keep them appraised of the process. And sure, Miami’s a big institution, but again it’s a major project that concluded 13 years ago, not disintegrating 19th century journals that are maybe looked at every few decades by a hopeful grad student.

    Also, as the daughter of a figure skater, hokey players are gross. Among other things they spit everywhere, which is not great but more understandable on a baseball field and absolutely disgusting in an indoor ice rink, particularly in these times of plague.

    1. Thanks for your comments. I probably should add the following disclaimer: Commenters’ views about hockey, hockey players, or the habits of individuals who take part in the sport of hockey are not necessarily the views of this website. 😁

      As for your thoughts about the missing recording, I would just add this: University Archives supposedly never destroys any of its records—ever. And this was considered a legacy project for the university. The recordings were intentionally created for posterity—to outlast us all. How can one of those recordings be created in May and yet somehow no longer be available by September?

      1. Mostly I’m thinking any destruction would have been accidental, pressing the wrong button and deleting everything if you’re technologically inept, or thinking the tape was blank and using it for other interviews without checking first. And the conspiracy would be one or more people not wanting to get in trouble so they tried to cover it up, which is stupid cause it’s not great but it wasn’t intentional or even like the school admin up in the Cleveland area who managed to email the senior class’s grades, GPA, class ranking and I think contact info to the whole class and their parents.

      2. Yeah, I get what you’re saying. Humans are human and mistakes can be made. But…there were audio backups made of every recording and they had a system in place for converting one format to another. You can see on the progress log how they tracked that system. By summer 2009, they’d been doing it for more than 3 years, so I’d think they would’ve had the process pretty well nailed down. We’ll see…maybe I’m wrong and it’ll turn up.

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